Hotel Rwanda

Last night I went to go see this flick with a friend of mine. I basically decided to see it because there is friggin nothing in the movie theaters that is interesting at all -so I figure I'd see something that might have some value. While walking in I thought about detouring into the Tara Reid horror movie but I thought God would look down and sort of shake his head at me- so I went with Rwanda. You don't want to go Tara Reid right in Rwanda's face without expecting some karmatic hit.

Anyway, just want to start off by saying I was somewhat ignorant to what went on in Rwanda before this movie. I could not find Rwanda on a map (still couldn't I'm sure). I didn't know what really triggered the violent wild lunacy that went on there. I just knew it was a real bad sad scene. To give a quick summary as to what went way wrong there. There were two groups of people in Rwanda. The Tutsi and the Hutu. The Hutu wanted to kill all the Tutsi in a big way for a vague insane madmannish reason. I heard this movie was similar to Schindler's List so I braced myself for a wallop of emotional human-gone-wrong impact. Unfortunately I didn't get a wallop. More like a big dollop. 

One of the scariest things to me is chaos. I think that's why I like zombie movies so much. Society breaking down while people hold onto the hope that it's just some crazy temporary phase while ignoring the glimmers of possibility that it might not be a phase. And that's the real well done part of this movie. It shows society breaking down in a flurry of radio broadcasts, wild-eyed dudes packed into the back of pickups with guns, and wimpy governmental/UN confusion. This movie centers around a hotel that took in alot of refugees and protected them from the crazies. Don Cheadle plays this hotel manager dude who uses every ounce of his influence to keep the refugees alive but little by little his influence drains and the crazies start to get the upperhand. He was sort of patching a dam the whole time. 

So it was sort of interesting to watch everything play out but I kept getting distracted from the chaos and the horror by one thing. The movie. Don Cheadle never fully stepped out of being Don Cheadle for me. He did a good job but I stayed aware almost throughout that he was Don Cheadle the actor. Also the movie had some hokey dialogue and something about the storyline struck me as 'too movie-ish'. I think what was lacking here was the true human impact. Sure there was some disturbing scenes with dead bodies everywhere. But it left behind the true horror of what was reallly going on. Madmen with machetes driving into a village of helpless people and 'chopping' everyone including children. The real deal. They talked about it. They kinda sorta of showed it. But when it comes down to it... if we're talking about a genocide I expected to end up in tears from the horror of it all and the failure of mankind. And with this flick I saw it... but I just didn't feel it. 

Three Good Things About this Movie

- It helped fill in some of the blanks as to what the hell is/was and did go on over there. Including the UN disgraceful failure to act on a genocide.
- The moments of true chaos are great. It covers the breakdown well.
- There's momentum and I wasn't bored.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I didn't shed a tear. I didn't feel completely devastated.
- The plot tripped over itself from time to time.
- As much as it was an important movie... it did feel sorta like Oscar bait.

All in all I'd say this movie is a good video rental. There are a bunch of solid scenes. But it really came off to me as a 'movie' when what I wanted was this flick to be a slingshot with Rwanda as the rock and the plot as the elastic band- and it would pull itself way back and smash me dead in the face. But considering what went on there.... this flick (although a good shot) felt like it was sort of nerfed.